NCCM commences defamation lawsuit against PMO
-For Immediate Release-
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Saikaley, Legal Counsel | Caza Saikaley LLP, 613-565-2292
(Ottawa – May 26, 2014) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, has commenced a lawsuit against Jason MacDonald, the Prime Minister’s Communications Director, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper for defamation in relation to a media statement made by Mr. MacDonald about the NCCM on January 16, 2014.
In response to a January 14th open letter issued by NCCM to the Prime Minister urging him to reconsider inviting a controversial individual to join his official delegation to the Middle East, the Prime Minister’s spokesman attacked and defamed the organization by alleging that the NCCM is “an organization with documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas”. Hamas is publicly known to be a banned terrorist entity in Canada since 2002.
“On January 28th, the NCCM held a news conference on Parliament Hill announcing that it had initiated a libel notice against the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for defamation. Unfortunately, the statement remains on the public record and no retraction was made,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.
“This false accusation against the NCCM is of the most serious kind imaginable and was made in an attempt to discredit the NCCM and undermine its ability to conduct its public work. In order to uphold its good name, the NCCM has no choice but to issue a Statement of Claim for defamation against Mr. MacDonald and the Prime Minister,” says Gardee.
“As a long-standing Canadian organization, the NCCM has an exemplary public record including participating in major commissions of public inquiry, intervening in landmark cases at the Supreme Court of Canada, and working with security agencies to promote public safety. We are confident the NCCM will obtain a judgment that upholds its good name and reputation,” adds Gardee.
- NCCM Op-Ed: Why we are suing the Prime Minister’s Office
- Statements of Support for NCCM
- Letters by Canadians: PMO’s slander insults all Muslims
- Commentary: Why Stephen Harper owes Canadian Muslims an apology
The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization working for 14 years as a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.